A 3 hour drive from Kerala will land you in the place of heaven and I’m not kidding! The landscape was absolutely breathtaking with peaks undulating as the car moved uphill! But the drive in the dark before dawn was hairy-considering the narrow twirls up the mountainous region, which by any mistake could also take you to heaven! >.<”
Our first stop at Munnar was actually a resting area for drivers. It looked pretty bare at first sight with bits of rubbish, but according to Eldhose team, this is where the Nilgiri Pipit is! A pipit (listed as Vulnerable on IUCN list) that is endemic to the mountains of Southern India, something not to be missed and we didn’t! 🙂
Other birds we saw at this
dumpster resting site included
- Pied bushchats
- Hill Swallows
- Oriental White-eyes
- Common Rosefinch
- Malabar Whistling Thrush (pity we didn’t hear it whistle!)
Situated at high altitude of Southern India, quality birds restricted to the region simply could not be missed! Some of these birds have special names which start with Nilgiri, or Kerala or Malabar! As our car sauntered along the narrow road, we spotted a bird hopping around the bushes by the curb and it was quickly identified as Kerala Laughing Thrush by its distinctive laugh! Nearby, we also saw the Nilgiri Flycatcher and hiked for a Nilgiri Wood Pigeon, which at first sight I thought it was a Spotted dove!
There were also creeks at Munnar where we found the Black and Orange Flycatcher, endemic to the hills in Southern India, along with Blue-capped Rock Thrush, all colourful birds with wow factor!
Besides forests and creeks, there’s plenty of tea plantations at Munnar! It was a great day at Munnar-birds, beautiful landscape and cool weather! By the end of the day, we had tea and local chocolates before another 3 hour hairy drive back to Kerala!